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Interactions between humans and dogs: Neurobiological factors relevant for the treatment of exhaustion-related disorders.
University of Skövde, School of Bioscience.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Increasing evidence illustrates an involvement of stress in a large variety of physical and mental illness. Together with the evolutionary development of the social behavior in humans, the traditional interpretations of the attachment theory and the social support theory underscores the importance of affection, belonging and appreciation for human well-being. Not only can an imbalanced stress system be the cause of severe pathological consequences, insufficient social contact can also hamper recovery. Frequent usage of animals in various settings steadily illustrates both physiological and psychological benefits on both the young and the old, the healthy and the ill. Through the study of neurobiological factors, with oxytocin as a central mediator of social behavior and its  impact in turn on the stress- and cortisol system, this paper examines the possibility of animals to function as social support. The potential of animals to reduce the suffering in patients with stress related psychiatric disorders, such as the highly frequent exhaustion disorder, human-animal interactions might offer a non-invasive complementary tool to current treatment methods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 54 p.
Keyword [en]
Cortisol, Oxytocin, Human-Animal Interactions (HAI), Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT), Attachment Theory, Social Support Theory, Stress
National Category
Other Natural Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-11436OAI: diva2:849063
Subject / course
Cognitive Neuroscience
Educational program
Consciousness Studies - Philosophy and Neuropsychology
Available from: 2015-08-31 Created: 2015-08-27 Last updated: 2015-08-31Bibliographically approved

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Sinisalo, Johanna
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